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The Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Disenrollment Reasons Survey

Overview: The Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Disenrollment Reasons Survey is designed to capture the reasons Medicare beneficiaries voluntarily disenroll from their MA and PDP contracts.  The Disenrollment Reasons Survey provides additional insight about reasons people leave their MA and PDP contracts beyond what disenrollment rates tell us.  The survey excludes beneficiaries who involuntarily disenrolled from contracts for eligibility reasons, moved out of their contract’s service area, died, are Low Income Subsidy (LIS) beneficiaries reassigned by CMS, and those who switch from one benefit package to another under the same contract.  Since 2013, CMS has surveyed beneficiaries who have voluntarily disenrolled from PDP and MA contracts. 

About the survey: The PDP and MA Plan Disenrollment Reasons Survey is administered using three survey versions:  1) a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) version; 2) a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plan version; and 3) Medicare Advantage (MA)-only version.  A random sample of voluntary disenrollees from each contract is surveyed as soon as possible following the actual date of disenrollment.  The sampled participants receive a pre-notification letter and up to two mailed survey packages (original and follow-up) within a 1-2 month window.  The survey asks participants what reasons prompted them to disenroll from their plan including financial, drug or health benefits, plan’s customer service, and doctor/hospital coverage. 

Public reporting and policy relevance:  Beginning in 2015, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Disenrollment survey results have been publicly reported on the Medicare Plan Finder website at  Five composite measures are publicly reported:  “Financial Reasons for Disenrollment,” “Problems with Prescription Drug Benefits and Coverage,” “Problems Getting information about Prescription Drugs,” “Problems Getting Needed Care, Coverage, and Cost Information,” ”Problems with Coverage of Doctors and Hospitals.”  Beneficiaries can use survey results to help choose an MA or PDP contract.  

The public and research community can use survey results to assess Medicare program performance, contracts can use survey results to identify areas for quality improvement, and Medicare administrators and policymakers rely on the measures to monitor Medicare plans.

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